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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Review: Final Performance Today of Carla Kendall in 'The Other Place'!

Carla Kendall and Matt Meier (photo by Jeff Knapp)

'Wow' is a simple word we have used in a few reviews in the past - to us it connotes an exceptional, outstanding, superior performance. Last night we witnessed a performance that clearly deserves to be labeled 'wow.'  Community theater veteran Carla Kendall (she also wowed us as Maria Callas in Master Class at the Barn two seasons ago) gives a master class in acting in The Other Place by Sharr White and directed by Jeff Knapp at the Chester Theatre Group. The bad news is that the final performance is TODAY at 2 pm.

Mr. White has written a powerful, challenging puzzle of a psycho-drama that defies the normal reviewer description. The only plot elements we are willing to reveal in this complex drama are that Carla Kendall plays Juliana, a brilliant Boston scientist turned drug salesperson who is troubled by her failing marriage and the loss of her daughter to a colleague 15 years her daughter's senior. We first meet her center stage making a slide presentation to a medical conference in a hotel in St. Thomas. She shares her thoughts with us particularly about the strange girl dressed only in a yellow bikini seated in the center of the physicians. Via a series of relatively short scenes the conference presentation is interrupted as we meet her husband, Ian, an oncologist (Matt Meier); their estranged daughter, Laurel (Gianna Esposito); Laurel's husband, Richard (Joe Guadara); and Cindy a young doctor treating Juliana (
Gianna Esposito doubles). To reveal any further details would spoil your enjoyment of this clever play where nothing is as it seems.

The supporting cast is excellent, particularly Matt Meier as the caring husband.
In The Other Place, Carla Kendall gives a performance worthy of any stage. Simply put, the play is good, but Carla Kendall is great. Please go see it this afternoon.

Note: The play's title The Other Place is how Julianna and Ian refer to their summer house on Cape Cod. 

Standing ovation also to the creative staff of The Other Place: director and sound design Jeff Knapp; producer and lighting designer Ellen Fraker-Glasscock; costumes Mindy Knapp; and stage manager Barbara Henderson.

Reviewed by Rick Busciglio October 8, 2016

The Chester Theatre Group performs in The Black River Playhouse, an intimate, 100-seat theater in the heart of Chester Borough’s historic district. The venue’s in-the-round format ensures that every seat offers an engaging, memorable experience for each audience member. The theater is located on the corner of Grove Street and Maple Avenue. Tickets are $20.00 with a discounted price of $18.00 for seniors over 65 and students under 18. Tickets may be purchased online at

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